As eCommerce continues to grow, so do the risks of cyberattacks. With more and more people shopping on the internet, eCommerce sites, along with their customers, have become targets for cybercriminals. From phishing attacks to account takeovers, there are a variety of threats that can compromise your eCommerce site's security and lead to a data breach, many of which are enabled by automated bots. By understanding many of these threats, and proactively working to mitigate them, security teams will not only protect their customers' data but also boost their confidence in your brand.
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The Evolution of Intelligent Bots
Common eCommerce security threats
ECommerce websites are a magnet for cybercriminals. Each platform, along with individual user accounts, are potential targets for attackers. When attacking eCommerce platforms, hackers are often looking to steal the following:
- login credentials (emails, usernames, passwords)
- sensitive data or personal information (including PII like Social Security Numbers, addresses, and names)
- credit card details or debit card numbers
Cybercriminals also look to swipe popular inventory and then resell it for increased prices online—or conduct inventory denial in which they add inventory to a shopping cart but don’t check out. This freezes the inventory and makes legitimate customers unable to buy that item. Regardless of their specific moves, any one of these actions made by an attacker can hurt an eCommerce platform’s bottom line and hard-earned brand reputation. Here are some common threats to know:
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can overwhelm a website or server with malicious bot traffic, ultimately causing it to crash or become unavailable. DDoS attacks can be used to take down your website, disrupt services, and disrupt customer data.
Phishing attacks aim to trick users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware via email or text messages. Phishing attacks often involve impersonating a brand’s email or web presence to trick users into giving away their sensitive information like passwords, account numbers, or credit card data. This can lead to significant financial and reputational damage for both the user and the eCommerce business.
Credential stuffing and account takeovers
Credential stuffing is a common eCommerce security threat that involves hackers using stolen login credentials to gain unauthorized access to user accounts. This is often done by trying different username and password combinations until they are able to gain access. Account takeovers (ATO), on the other hand, are a type of cybercrime in which an attacker gains access to a user's account and uses it to make unauthorized purchases or commit downstream attacks and fraud.
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How bots enable cyberattacks
Automated bots and botnets are commonly used to launch a variety of cyberattacks, from DDoS attacks to credential stuffing, and can even negatively impact website analytics and SEO. Cybercriminals use bots to automate the process of compromising eCommerce websites and stealing sensitive data. For instance, bots can perform much of the processes needed to enter username and password combinations as part of a credential stuffing attack or send phishing and spam messages that can capture credentials from unsuspecting users.
Botnets are often used for large-scale attacks, like DDoS attacks. Making matters more difficult for security teams is that bots can mimic human behavior and bypass traditional security measures like CAPTCHAs. This makes detecting bots so important so security teams can proactively mitigate them before they can launch their attacks.
eCommerce security best practices
There are numerous best practices that an eCommerce store can take that not only shore up vulnerabilities and protect their customers' data, but could prevent cyberattacks as well. As cybercriminals often target user endpoints, like account creation, payment pages, and login flows, partnering with customers while providing a security umbrella can be an effective cybersecurity strategy to take. Much of this goes beyond typical SSL certificates of PCI compliance. Here are some common best practices:
Secure password management
A weak password can be big business for a cybercriminal. Ensuring secure password management involves enforcing strong passwords that are complex and hard to guess, and that are regularly updated. It's also important to educate employees and customers on the importance of not sharing passwords and using unique passwords for each account. This can prevent ATOs and credential stuffing attacks.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Following multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires users to provide two or more independent pieces of evidence to verify their identity. This adds an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide something that only they know, such as a one-time passcode (OTP) sent to them via text message, in addition to their username and password. Implementing MFA can help protect against brute force attacks and other cyber threats by making it harder for attackers to gain access.
Use secure payment gateways
Payment gateways give customers added peace of mind when making online transactions on your site and are essential to ensure the safety and security of customer payments. These payment gateways encrypt data exchanged between the website and the payment processor, making it more difficult for hackers to access sensitive information, like bank account numbers or credit card numbers. When selecting a payment gateway, it's important to choose one that follows industry standards like PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard).
Regularly monitor site traffic and activity
As bot traffic can be a precursor to a cyberattack, one of the top eCommerce security best practices is to regularly monitor site traffic and activity. This helps to detect any suspicious or anomalous behavior and prevent potential security breaches. For instance, sudden changes in traffic levels or unusual user activity can be signs of malicious intent.
Stop the bots and secure your data with Arkose Labs
eCommerce data security is an imperative in the current cybersecurity environment. Cybercriminals are constantly hunting for opportunities and methods to exploit vulnerabilities in eCommerce sites. Investing in the right solution can give security teams peace of mind knowing that threats are detected and mitigated in real time, not after the fact. Additionally, strong cybersecurity can be a key differentiator for online stores looking to protect customer information. This is especially true as knowledgeable and digitally native consumers continue to understand the importance of keeping their data secure.
Arkose Labs classifies traffic based on the underlying intent of users and deploys appropriate countermeasures to remediate attacks in real-time. Arkose Labs goes beyond stopping individual attacks to deliver a long-term solution that deters cybercriminals long term while enhancing good user experience. Bot management from Arkose Labs provides early detection, which helps eCommerce businesses eliminate losses, reduce costs, and streamline efforts by preventing attacks before they advance in your ecosystem.
Through variable Arkose MatchKey challenges, bots and malicious users are presented with targeted friction that stops a potential attack in its tracks. Better yet, most legitimate customers will experience little to no friction at all, which preserves the shopping experience for legitimate customers.
If you would like to learn more about how Arkose Labs can partner with you to secure your business, book a meeting today.